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PESHAWAR: A special meeting of the caretaker cabinet of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa held here on Friday reviewed various issues regarding deportation of illegal foreign nationals and emphasized facilitation of those repatriating voluntarily.

The meeting chaired by the caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan was participated by cabinet members, Chief Secretary Nadeem Aslam Chaudhry while the Additional Chief Secretary for Home & Tribal Affairs, Abid Majeed attended along with concerned administrative secretaries and officials.

The meeting was given briefing on the arrangements made for the repatriation of illegal immigrants and associated matters.

Caretaker Chief Minister Muhammad Azam Khan expressed his contentment with the administration’s efforts in facilitating the return of illegal immigrants to their home countries and the amenities offered in the holding centres.

He commended the roles played by various departments and institutions, including district administration and police, in providing facilities and accommodations for the returning migrants. He directed that voluntarily returning illegal immigrants be treated with the utmost humanity, ensuring special care during their repatriation, and respecting the province’s traditions and values.

Emphasizing the importance of transparency in all expenses related to the foreign evacuation process, he called for maintaining a detailed record of both regular and emergency expenses. He stressed strict adherence to rules and regulations governing these expenses and the development of mechanisms to ensure transparency.

During a press conference regarding the cabinet meeting’s decisions, Caretaker Minister of Information and Public Relations, Barrister Feroze Jamal Kakakhel, highlighted the need for an orderly and respectful approach to the return of illegal residents, in line with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s traditions. He mentioned exemptions for women and children from biometric requirements, facilities at transit points, and the influx of illegal residents from other provinces into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, leading to increased responsibilities for the province. An emergency has been declared in Nowshera, Peshawar, and Khyber districts to improve management.

Kakakhel revealed that the caretaker cabinet approved the release of estimated emergency funds of one billion rupees. The federal caretaker government has been contacted for immediate provision. He noted that the federal government will work with provincial governments to share expenses because this issue extends beyond Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to affect all provinces.

Providing statistics, Kakakhel mentioned that approximately 150,000 illegal individuals have voluntarily returned, and the deportation process is ongoing alongside voluntary returns. The caretaker provincial information minister emphasized the encouragement of voluntary returns.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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